Israel said it started demolishing buildings at a West Bank settlement outpost evacuated last week amid clashes between settlers and security forces. Spokesman Micky Rosenfeld says officers are securing Amona to "prevent incidents" Monday.
Israel's Supreme Court later ruled in 2014 that Amona was built on private Palestinian land and must be dismantled. Settlers resisted the evacuation and clashed with police enforcing the law. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu later announced a new settlement would be established — the first in two decades — to make up for Amona. Most of the international community views settlements as illegal and a hindrance to a two-state solution to the conflict. The Trump administration is perceived as sympathetic to settlements, an issue that caused friction between Netanyahu and former President Barack Obama.
The long-running saga has centered on a 2014 high court ruling ordering the outpost northeast of the Palestinian political capital of Ramallah to be evacuated because it was built on private Palestinian land. An initial deadline of December 25, 2016 was given for the outpost to be removed. But with the deadline approaching, Israeli right-wing politicians rushed to Amona's defence while also promoting a bill to legalise thousands of other settler homes in the West Bank.
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